New Release Books by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco is the author of Looking for a Logic of Culture (2020), On the Shoulders of Giants (2019), The Story of the Betrothed (2017), Chronicles of a Liquid Society (2017) and other 212 books.

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Looking for a Logic of Culture

release date: Oct 26, 2020

On the Shoulders of Giants

release date: Oct 22, 2019
On the Shoulders of Giants
On the Shoulders of Giants collects previously unpublished essays from the last fifteen years of Umberto Eco’s life. With humor and erudition, one of the great contemporary thinkers takes on the roots of Western culture, the origin of language, the nature of beauty and ugliness, the imperfections of art, and the lure of mysteries.

The Story of the Betrothed

release date: Jan 03, 2017
The Story of the Betrothed
"This marriage is not supposed to happen." Lombardy, 1628, a time of oppressive Spanish occupation of Northern Italy, and of the Thirty Years' War. The young lovers Lorenzo and Lucia, both from peasant families, are planning their wedding. However, the villainous Don Rodrigo has designs on Lucia, and the lovers are forced to flee their village. Their dangerous journey in exile takes them through one of the most dramatic epochs in Italian history, filled with war, famine and plague - will they ever be able to find happiness together? Dave Eggers says, of the series: "I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it. Ever since Alessandro conceived this idea I thought it was brilliant. The editions that they've complied have been lushly illustrated and elegantly designed."

Chronicles of a Liquid Society

release date: Nov 14, 2017
Chronicles of a Liquid Society
A posthumous collection of essays by the great novelist, essayist, literary critic, and philosopher Umberto Eco

How to Spot a Fascist

release date: Aug 13, 2020
How to Spot a Fascist
We are here to remember what happened and to declare solemnly that ‘they’ must never do it again. But who are ‘they’? HOW TO SPOT A FASCIST is a selection of three thought-provoking essays on freedom and fascism, censorship and tolerance – including Eco’s iconic essay ‘Ur-Fascism’, which lists the fourteen essential characteristics of fascism, and draws on his own personal experiences growing up in the shadow of Mussolini. Umberto Eco remains one of the greatest writers and cultural commentators of the last century. In these pertinent pieces, he warns against prejudice and abuses of power and proves a wise and insightful guide for our times. If we strive to learn from our collective history and come together in challenging times, we can hope for a peaceful and tolerant future. Freedom and liberation are never-ending tasks. Let this be our motto: ‘Do not forget.’

Numero Zero

release date: Nov 03, 2015
Numero Zero
#1 Italian bestseller “Witty and wry . . . It’s hard not to be charmed.” — New York Times Book Review “One of the most influential thinkers of our time.” — Los Angeles Times 1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce’s death remain controversial. 1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can’t resist to ghostwrite a book. His subject: a fledgling newspaper, which happens to be financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns of the editor’s paranoid theory that Mussolini’s corpse was a body double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It’s the scoop the newspaper desperately needs. The evidence? He’s working on it. It’s all there: media hoaxes, Mafiosi, the CIA, the Pentagon, blackmail, love, gossip, and murder. A clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War II — from Mussolini to Berlusconi. “Farcical, serious, satiric, and tragic” (Le Point, France), Numero Zero is the work of a master storyteller. UMBERTO ECO (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels, including The Name of the Rose,The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

How to Write a Thesis

release date: Mar 06, 2015
How to Write a Thesis
Umberto Eco's wise and witty guide to researching and writing a thesis, published in English for the first time. By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis—from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English. Eco's approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual. It reads like a novel. It is opinionated. It is frequently irreverent, sometimes polemical, and often hilarious. Eco advises students how to avoid “thesis neurosis” and he answers the important question “Must You Read Books?” He reminds students “You are not Proust” and “Write everything that comes into your head, but only in the first draft.” Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco's index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data. How to Write a Thesis belongs on the bookshelves of students, teachers, writers, and Eco fans everywhere. Already a classic, it would fit nicely between two other classics: Strunk and White and The Name of the Rose. Contents The Definition and Purpose of a Thesis • Choosing the Topic • Conducting Research • The Work Plan and the Index Cards • Writing the Thesis • The Final Draft

Candida Höfer

release date: Sep 03, 2019
Candida Höfer
This striking book shows the world's most beautiful libraries through Candida Höfer's mesmerizing photographs. No one photographs spaces quite like Candida Höfer and no one has captured better the majesty, stillness, and eloquence of libraries. Traveling around the world, Höfer shows the exquisite beauty to be found in order, repetition, and form--rows of books, lines of desks, soaring shelves, and even stacks of paper create patterns that are both hypnotic and soothing. Photographed with a large-format camera and a small aperture, these razor-sharp images of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, the Escorial in Spain, Villa Medici in Rome, the Hamburg University library, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, and the Museo Archeologico in Madrid, to name a few, communicate more than just the superb architecture. Glowing with subtle color and natural light, Höfer's photographs, while devoid of people, shimmer with life and remind us again and again that libraries are more than just repositories for books. Umberto Eco's essay about his own attachment to libraries is the perfect introduction to an otherwise wordless, but sublimely reverent journey.

Idade Media, V.3 -

Idade Media, V.3 -
Este livro aborda o período de 1200 a 1400 - no período que é definido por Baixa Idade Média, um novo impulso expansivo, juntamente com a ideologia das cruzadas, conduz o Ocidente à conquista do Oriente. A cidade cresce, a arquitetura, a arte e a literatura experimentam uma intensa vontade de renovação e abertura.,A esta época de progresso segue-se um período de guerra e carestia - a Guerra dos Cem Anos, a peste, as revoltas dos camponeses, reprimidas em sangue. Apesar disto, encontramos aqui as sementes do Renascimento, que atingiram toda a sua expressão na Europa de Quatrocentos.

Reflections on Pain

release date: Jan 01, 2016

Travels in Hyperreality

release date: Jun 24, 2014
Travels in Hyperreality
A “scintillating collection” of essays on Disneyland, medieval times, and much more, from the author of Foucault’s Pendulum (Los Angeles Times). Collected here are some of Umberto Eco’s finest popular essays, recording the incisive and surprisingly entertaining observations of his restless intellectual mind. As the author puts it in the preface to the second edition: “In these pages, I try to interpret and to help others interpret some ‘signs.’ These signs are not only words, or images; they can also be forms of social behavior, political acts, artificial landscapes.” From Disneyland to holography and wax museums, Eco explores America’s obsession with artificial reality, suggesting that the craft of forgery has in certain cases exceeded reality itself. He examines Western culture’s enduring fascination with the middle ages, proposing that our most pressing modern concerns began in that time. He delves into an array of topics, from sports to media to what he calls the crisis of reason. Throughout these travels—both physical and mental—Eco displays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. Translated by William Weaver

From the Tree to the Labyrinth

release date: Feb 25, 2014
From the Tree to the Labyrinth
How we create and organize knowledge is the theme of this major achievement by Umberto Eco. Demonstrating once again his inimitable ability to bridge ancient, medieval, and modern modes of thought, he offers here a brilliant illustration of his longstanding argument that problems of interpretation can be solved only in historical context.

The Name of the Rose

release date: Jan 01, 2014
The Name of the Rose
In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate charges of heresy against Franciscan monks at a wealthy Italian abbey but finds his mission overshadowed by seven bizarre murders.

Serendipities

release date: Sep 24, 2015
Serendipities
Serendipities is an iconoclastic, dazzlingly erudite and witty demonstration, by one of the world's most brilliant thinkers, of how myths and lunacies can produce historical developments of no small significance. In Eco's words, 'even errors can produce interesting side effects'. Eco's book shows how: -- believers in a flat earth helped Columbus accidentally discover America -- the medieval myth of Prester John, the Christian king in Asia, assisted the European drive eastward -- the myth of the Rosicrucians affected the Masons, leading in turn to the widespread belief in a Jewish masonic plot to dominate the world and other forms of paranoid anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

The Book of Legendary Lands

release date: Sep 03, 2015
The Book of Legendary Lands
In the tradition of On Beauty, On Ugliness and The Infinity of Lists, Umberto Eco presents an enthralling and erudite illustrated tour of the fabled places that have awed and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poems of Homer to contemporary science fiction, from the Holy Scriptures to modern mythology and fairy tale, literature and art are full of illusory places we have at some time believed are real, and onto which we have projected our dreams, ideals and fears. Umberto Eco leads us on an illuminating journey through these legendary lands - Atlantis, Thule and Hyperborea, the Earth's interior and the Land of Cockaigne - and explores utopias and dystopias where our imagination can confront concepts that are too incredible, or too challenging, for our limited real world. In The Book of Legendary Lands the author's text is accompanied by several hundred carefully assembled works of art and literature; the result is a beautifully illustrated volume with broad and enduring appeal.

Mouse or Rat?

release date: Mar 28, 2013
Mouse or Rat?
From the world-famous author of THE NAME OF THE ROSE, an illuminating and humorous study on the pleasures and pitfalls of translation. 'Translation is always a shift, not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.' Umberto Eco is of the world's most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.For example when you put 'Studies in the logic of Charles Sanders Peirce' through an internet translation machine, it becomes 'Studies in the logic of the Charles of sandpaper grinding machines Peirce'. In Italian 'ratto' has no connotation of 'contemptible person' but denotes speed ('you dirty rat' could take on a whole new meaning!) What could be a weighty subject is never dull, fired by Eco's immense wit and erudition, providing an entertaining read that illuminates the process of negotiation that all translators must make.

Turning Back The Clock

release date: Nov 27, 2014
Turning Back The Clock
After the Cold War, the 'Hot War' has made its comeback in Afghanistan and Iraq. Exhuming Kipling's 'Great Game', we have gone back to the clash between Islam and Christianity. The ghost of the Yellow Peril has been resurrected, the nineteenth-century anti-Darwin debate has been reopened, right-wing governments predominate. It almost seems like history, tired of the big steps forward it has taken in the past two millennia, has gone into reverse. With his customary sharpness and wit, Eco proposes, not so much that we resume a forward march, but at the very least that we cease marching backwards.

Belief or Nonbelief?

release date: Jan 12, 2012
Belief or Nonbelief?
One is the beloved author of The Name of the Rose, a celebrated scholar, philosopher, and self-declared secularist; the other is a preeminent clergyman and a respected expert on the New Testament. In this intellectually stimulating dialogue, often adversarial but always amicable, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of our day, including the apocalypse, abortion, women in the clergy, and ethics. As we voyage onward into the new millennium, they frame a debate about matters that have already begun to rage, always aware of the gulf between belief and nonbelief that separates them, constantly probing and challenging, but also respectful of the other’s viewpoint. For believers and nonbelievers alike, the result is both edifying and illuminating. “Their correspondence,” writes Professor Harvey Cox in his introduction, “lifts the possibility of intelligent conversation on religion to a new level.”

Inventing the Enemy and Other Occasional Writings

release date: Jan 01, 2012
Inventing the Enemy and Other Occasional Writings
Collects essays written by the author over the last ten years, covering such topics as the reception of James Joyce's "Ulysses" by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, and the implications of the recent Wikileaks scandal.

Faith in Fakes

release date: Sep 30, 2014
Faith in Fakes
Holography, wax museums, the secret meaning of spectator sports, Superman and the intellectual effects of over-tight jeans are just a few of the subjects covered in this collection of witty, entertaining and thought-provoking delights from Umberto Eco, celebrated author of The Name of the Rose.

The Prague Cemetery

release date: Nov 08, 2011
The Prague Cemetery
The #1 international bestseller, from Umberto Eco, author of The Name of the Rose “Vintage Eco . . . the book is a triumph.” – New York Review of Books Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man? “[Eco] demonstrates once again that his is a voice that compels our attention” – San Francisco Chronicle “Choreographed by a truth that is itself so strange a novelist need hardly expand on it to produce a wondrous tale . . . Eco is to be applauded for bringing this stranger-than-fiction truth vividly to life.” – New York Times “Classic Eco, with a difference.” – Los Angeles Times This e-book includes a sample chapter of NAME OF THE ROSE.

Five Moral Pieces

release date: Sep 30, 2014
Five Moral Pieces
Embracing the web of multi-culturalism that has become a fact of contemporary life from New York to New Delhi, Eco argues that we are more connected to people of other traditions and customs than ever before, making tolerance the ultimate value in today's world. What good, he asks in a talk delivered during the Gulf War, does war do in a world where the flow of goods, services, and information is unstoppable, and the enemy is always behind the lines? What makes news today, who decides how it will be presented and how does the way it is disseminated contribute to the widespread disillusionment with politics in general? In one of the most personal of the essays, Eco recalls experiencing liberation from fascism in Italy as a boy, and examines the various historical forms of fascism, always with an eye toward such ugly manifestations today. And finally, in an intensely personal open letter to an Italian Cardinal, Eco reflects on a question underlying all the reflections in the book - what does it mean to be moral or ethical when one doesn't believe in God? As thoughtful and subtle as they are pragmatic and relevant, these essays present one of the world's most important thinkers at the height of his critical powers.

Confessions of a Young Novelist

release date: Apr 25, 2011
Confessions of a Young Novelist
Umberto Eco published his first novel, The Name of the Rose, in 1980, when he was nearly fifty. In these “confessions,” the author, now in his late seventies, looks back on his long career as a theorist and his more recent work as a novelist, and explores their fruitful conjunction. He begins by exploring the boundary between fiction and nonfiction—playfully, seriously, brilliantly roaming across this frontier. Good nonfiction, he believes, is crafted like a whodunnit, and a skilled novelist builds precisely detailed worlds through observation and research. Taking us on a tour of his own creative method, Eco recalls how he designed his fictional realms. He began with specific images, made choices of period, location, and voice, composed stories that would appeal to both sophisticated and popular readers. The blending of the real and the fictive extends to the inhabitants of such invented worlds. Why are we moved to tears by a character’s plight? In what sense do Anna Karenina, Gregor Samsa, and Leopold Bloom “exist”? At once a medievalist, philosopher, and scholar of modern literature, Eco astonishes above all when he considers the pleasures of enumeration. He shows that the humble list, the potentially endless series, enables us to glimpse the infinite and approach the ineffable. This “young novelist” is a master who has wise things to impart about the art of fiction and the power of words.

Island of the Day Before

release date: Aug 29, 2014
Island of the Day Before
The year is 1643. Roberto, a young nobleman, survives war, the Bastille, exile and shipwreck as he voyages to a Pacific island straddling the date meridian. There he waits now, alone on the mysteriously deserted Daphne, separated by treacherous reefs from the island beyond: the island of the day before. If he could reach it, time - and his misfortunes - might be reversed. But first he must learn to swim...

Foucault's Pendulum

release date: Aug 29, 2014
Foucault's Pendulum
Three book editors, jaded by reading far too many crackpot manuscripts on the mystic and the occult, are inspired by an extraordinary conspiracy story told to them by a strange colonel to have some fun. They start feeding random bits of information into a powerful computer capable of inventing connections between the entries, thinking they are creating nothing more than an amusing game, but then their game starts to take over, the deaths start mounting, and they are forced into a frantic search for the truth

Baudolino

release date: Aug 28, 2014
Baudolino
An extraordinary epic, brilliantly-imagined, new novel from a world-class writer and author of The Name of the Rose. Discover the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, dazzling, beguiling tale of history, myth and invention. It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.

Experiences in Translation

release date: Jan 01, 2008
Experiences in Translation
In this book Umberto Eco argues that translation is not about comparing two languages, but about the interpretation of a text in two different languages, thus involving a shift between cultures. An author whose works have appeared in many languages, Eco is also the translator of Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie and Raymond Queneau's Exercices de style from French into Italian. In Experiences in Translation he draws on his substantial practical experience to identify and discuss some central problems of translation. As he convincingly demonstrates, a translation can express an evident deep sense of a text even when violating both lexical and referential faithfulness. Depicting translation as a semiotic task, he uses a wide range of source materials as illustration: the translations of his own and other novels, translations of the dialogue of American films into Italian, and various versions of the Bible. In the second part of his study he deals with translation theories proposed by Jakobson, Steiner, Peirce, and others. Overall, Eco identifies the different types of interpretive acts that count as translation. An enticing new typology emerges, based on his insistence on a common-sense approach and the necessity of taking a critical stance.

Talking of Joyce

release date: Sep 01, 2015
Talking of Joyce
This new and expanded edition focuses on James Joyce's cultural ancestry - aesthetic and linguistic, in particular - and his Italian influences and connections. It brings original scholarship to contemporary readers and contains an insightful added essay on Joyce's aesthetic musings.
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